Whitetail Deer

Hunter Treated After Coming in Contact with Rabid Deer

A hunter is receiving shots after coming into contact with a rabid deer.   It’s not common, but every year the Pennsylvania Game Commission gets one or two reports of a deer coming down with rabies

In this case, spokesman Jerry Feaser says a hunter from Lancaster County field dressed the deer without gloves, and he had scratches on his hands that opened him further to exposure to the rabies virus.  Feaser says the hunter encountered the deer in Chester County on January 20th.

Feaser says the hunter told the commission the deer was standing in a creek, straining and growling. The hunter believed there might be a predator or coyote nearby and the deer was trying to scare it off.  But after killing the deer, he became concerned that it might not be fit for human consumption, so luckily he contacted the Game Commission. The deer tested positive for rabies.

The game commission says hunters should not kill a deer that doesn’t appear healthy, but should contact the commission provide the animal’s location. The commission also recommends that hunters wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing any animal.

Feaser says a deer that has rabies, and a deer that has been hit by a car  or injured in some way, could act in a similar manner.  The basic symptoms of disease or injury are staggering, a lowered head, and strange behavior.